Here is the next segment of our interview with National Symphony Orchestra double bassist Ira Gold. Ira was first interviewed on episode 15 of the podcast. Feel free to check that episode out, or click here to listen to any of our older episodes. Also, you can direct any questions to Ira directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBC 18: Interview with Ira Gold Part 2 and music of Bill Koehler
Release Date: 4/30/07
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Welcome to Contrabass Conversations, life on the low end of the spectrum! I hope you all enjoyed last week’s episode continuing our conversation with Lyric Opera of Chicago bassist Andy Anderson. In case you missed it, head on over to our website and check it out—it was episode 17. You can also hear Andy on episodes 11, 7, and 4. Episode 11 featured a recital showcase from Andy, so if you’d like to hear him play (and he’s a GREAT player), check out episode 11.
I also hope that you all also enjoyed this week’s Contrabass Conversations Recital Showcase featuring music from Phillip Serna. This showcase was a full-length recital from 2003 featuring music of Brahms, Misek, Hertl, and Rachmoninoff, and it was recorded at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Two quick news items before we get into our episode today. As most listeners undoubtedly know, the International Society of Bassists Convention is coming up this June in Oklahoma City. Due to an irritatingly complicated web of events, I cannot make the convention this year. I really think that it is important for Contrabass Conversations to have a presence at this event, and I’d like to let folks know that double bassist Ausberto Acevedo will be representing Contrabass Conversations at the convention. I will let you know more details as the event approaches, but Oz will be available for interviews and the like, and it should prove to be a good time all around.
If any listeners that are planning on making the convention would like to include some of their own footage and observations, whether they be in written, audio, video, or photo form, that would be welcomed and shared on both the blog and the podcast. Just drop me a line at email@example.com or head to over to the blog to get in touch.
Finally, I’d like to let listeners know that we are going to be adding some special hosts to episodes of the podcast. Both Phillip Serna and John Grillo will be either co-hosting or solo hosting some future episodes of the podcast, which I think is a really great thing. The more people that can be involved on the production end, the more interesting the product.
If anyone out there would like to do an interview for the podcast, please let me know. I really like having listener-submitted content to use for the show, and I am sure that many listeners are aware of guests that would be very interesting to hear from. Just drop me a line and we can talk about how to set this up on the technical end.
This week we continue our conversation with National Symphony Orchestra double bassist Ira Gold. The first part of this interview was on episode 15, so you can go back and listen to this episode to get up to speed.
Ira’s practice routines
Practice session lengths
Open string work
Technique materials for students
Vance Progressive Repertoire series
Rabbath technique books
Hal Robinson Boardwalkin’ (starts at 11:40 part 2 of interview) and Strokin’
…and much more!
Interview with Ira Gold – Part 2
I also did an interview this week with Lyric Opera of Chicago bassist and Northeastern Illinois University instructor Greg Sarchet. This interview was done in a Bulgarian restaurant and was a lot of fun, and I think that listeners will enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed doing it!
This episode will be released next week, and you will also be hearing Greg performing with the Vienna Waltz Ensemble during this upcoming episode.
Music from double bassist Bill Koehler
For the final part of our show this week, we will be playing music from double bassist Bill Koehler’s latest album Vandana.
Bill just released a new DuoCD entitled Vandana, Journey2gether
with Manpreet Bedi, tabla virtuso.
The CD got great reviews in ISB’s Bass World and in Double Bassist
Click here to order Bill’s new CD.
You can find more information about Bill’s CDs at his website:
Dr. William Koehler is Professor of Illinois State University where he teaches applied double bass, string pedagogy, graduate courses in psychology of music, and improvisation. Bill Koehler has performed in England, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Russia, Belo-Russia, Puerto Rico, and throughout the U.S. He has recently completed a book entitled A Guide to the Developmental Processes of Improvisation and Composition, which will be released soon. His Solo Bass CD, entitled “Glimpse” features original compositions in jazz, and world fusion idioms, as well as classical pieces for unaccompanied solo bass.
Bill has performed in numerous Orchestras in his native New York City, the Southeast, the Midwest, and performed with notable jazz and improvising musicians such as Sam Brown, Joe Tecula, Joel Smirnoff, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Harold Seletsky, John Clark, Dave Burrell, Joe Morello, John Campbell, Carl Fontana, Dave Burrell, Jimmy Guiffre, Richard Davis, John Clayton, Rufus Reed, David Baker, Harvey Phillips, Turk Van Lake, and Nashville country music producer Byron Gallimore.
Dr. Koehler is a frequent clinician, and writer on bass pedagogy. He is a regular clinician/performer at the Richard Davis Festival, the International Society of Bassists, and various Bass Symposia. He has written articles and reviewed new music for string bass and string orchestra for the American String Teacher, and the ISB. Dr. Koehler has a number of transcriptions and original compositions for solo double bass, which are available through Schorer Publications in Munich, Germany.
One of his early research interests involves the application of biofeedback to study physiology and to aid the reduction of excess muscle tension in string playing. He has illustrated double bass techniques and made Editorial contributions in the two editions of Robert Klotman’s string education textbook entitled Teaching Strings.
CD review reprinted from Bass World
The Magazine of the International Society of Bassists Summer 2005
Bill Koehler (db)
Manpreet Bedi (tabla), Bob McEntyre (drums), Glen Wilson (bar sax), David Collier (bass mar, vib), John Boboukis (vox)
Virtual Time Records VTR2004
Journey2gether is the name of the CD, Vandana is the name of the duo, and “cool!” is what you’ll say when you listen in. Bass players and drummers have a special relationship in non-classical music; together we create the groove over which all those horn players, guitar players, and singers do their business – without us, they would be nothing! (well…) On this CD, bassist Bill Koehler and tablist Manpreet Bedi feature themselves and the groove, resulting in some very interesting and beautiful music.
The Duo sites their musical influences as contemporary classical, jazz, world music and the music of India, and the fusion of eastern and western musical languages. Journey2gether features some written, but mostly improvised music. With the exception of Vernon Duke’s Autumn in New York and a 14th century ballade by Guiullame Machaut, all of the compositions are by Koehler and Bedi, and sound heavily influenced by Indian music.
For example, the opening cut, Caravan Bacchanal, begins with Koehler’s cadenza on a Phrygian scale, then he sets up a groove, and after Bedi and guest drummer Bob McEntyre join in and take over the groove, Koehler picks up the bow and continues wailing. The drummer and the tablist both take solos before the piece is through, and when it’s all over the listener will be surprised that eleven minutes have passed – compelling stuff.
Euphoethos has a guest appearance by baritone saxophonist Glenn Wilson, and he and Koehler take turns providing cascading phrases throughout the piece. This tune like many on this recording (and particularly Deep is My love for You), has a wonderful, hypnotic effect. The tunes Incantation, Consolation, and Postlude are grouped together, seemingly as one piece, and are tremendous. Consolation employs Wilson’s bari sax as well as David collier’s marimba and vibes – one of the great things about this album (and Consolation is a very good example), is the way Koehler brings together so many low pitched instruments, and how fantastic these instruments sound together. There is such warmth – it’s the musical equivalent of “comfort food!”
Koehler’s playing is top notch. His sound, particularly when bowing, is beautiful and his intonation enviable. His compositions are published through himself or Schorer Publications, and I suspect that they are equal parts fun and challenging. Tablist Bedi is a delight; he gets a gorgeous tone and his accompaniments or interactions are noteworthy throughout the album. Journey2gether is an excellent addition to and CD collection-check it out, play it for your students, and enjoy listening to a terrific example of what else the bass can do!
Review by Chris Kosky